Tag Archive: devotions


This feels like a psalm for old people [like me]. So if you’re not even partly old, maybe bookmark this and come back and read it in ten years or so…

And seriously go and read the whole psalm – i am not going to go through all of it here, but it really is a good one to read all the way through:

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
    turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
    to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
    my confidence since my youth.

i may just be putting my own oldness and tiredness on to this, but it feels like that is where the author is coming from. Looking back over a lot of years , which have not all been easy [see vs.20] it is the faith of his youth that he is raising up.

You have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

That line also speaks very much of a faith that has endured. I continue to believe. It may not always have been easy and clearly hasn’t been at times, but i am still holding on, i am still running this race. You continue to sustain me and keep me going and be enough for me God.

This is encouraging in a world where so many people seem to have given up on their relationship with God. Life and having a family and needing to be responsible and the pressures of conformity and the enticement of comfortability have all proved too strong and so a passionate run with God has either declined into a once-a-week religious meeting and an attempt to ‘be kinda good’ or at least as good as the next guy, or a snuffing out of the flame completely, and in some cases turning strongly against it [and how evil it always was]

But this psalmist knows. He knows God as the rock of refuge to whom he can always turn. He knows God is his deliverer and hope. And so continues to believe and hope and live for Him.

Clearly the temptation to walk away is here for him as well:

Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
    those who wait to kill me conspire together.
11 They say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue him and seize him,
    for no one will rescue him.”
12 Do not be far from me, my God;
    come quickly, God, to help me.
13 May my accusers perish in shame;
    may those who want to harm me
    be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more.

But although he has no doubt witnessed it in others, he finishes this section with the powerful words, ‘as for me’ – others may arrive at a different place, but this is how it is going to be for me.

Very reminiscent of Joshua standing before the people in Joshua 24:

14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

You can do what you want. But AS FOR ME and my family, we will serve the Lord. 

And there is a whole lot more, but let’s just finish off with the opening lines of these last three paragraphs:

22 I will praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, my God;
I will sing praise to you with the lyre,
    Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy
    when I sing praise to you—
    I whom you have delivered.
24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts
    all day long,
for those who wanted to harm me
    have been put to shame and confusion.

I will praise you.

My lips will shout for joy.

My tongue will tell of your righteous acts.

Is this you?

[To take a look at any of the other Psalms i have walked through so far, click here]

Psalm number 70 is not the Lords of the Rings of the Psalming community. And because it is so short, i thought it would be helpful to actually just meditate on the whole thing together:

Hasten, O God, to save me;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.

May those who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.
May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
    turn back because of their shame.
But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    come quickly to me, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
    Lord, do not delay.

What jumps out at me with this one is that it starts all inward-focused – Woe is me and all of that and has a lot of the previous psalm’s kind of tone in terms of calling on God to take out my enemies and so on.

But probably the thing that stands out most is verse 4, which is like a little interjection between the beginning and the end where David goes back to calling on God, just as he had started:

But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

It’s almost like we get a deep sense that he is not in a good place and is calling on God for rescue and to take care of his enemies, but then suddenly there’s a moment of just stopping and being still and knowing He is God [see Psalm 46] and reflecting on that. I think of a raging storm that suddenly lets up for a moment and the let up is so surprising and sudden that it grabs all of your attention. Focus on god – look at God – if you’re in trouble know that He is the one to look to – keep seeking and rejoicing and being glad in Him and long fr His saving because THE. LORD. IS. GREAT.

And then, almost as suddenly as it arrived, the moment is gone ad David returns to his crying out to God, although this time he is acknowledging that God is the one who helps and delivers…

[To take a look at any of the other Psalms i have walked through so far, click here]

If you are genuinely trying to follow Jesus, then there will be times when it gets confusing or difficult or a little overwhelming and this passage for me – Mark 12 vs 28-34 – is a good place to head back to and be reminded of the foundations that everything else is built on.

There is some great stuff in this reflection on focus and judging others [or not] and how centering our life on this Love thing might just inform the way you live the rest of your life… so this feels like one worth taking a watch of…

[To watch the next part which deals with Jesus and your offering, click here]

childrenAs we continue to wander with Jesus through the book of Mark He comes across some children and relates to them in a way that would have been quite unfamiliar and possibly quite scandalous to the adults of His time…

There is so much to be learnt simply from observing how Jesus behaved around people – how He spoke to them and how He spent time with them, and it is good to reflect that back to our own lives and ask if we are doing the same…

Let’s head to Mark:

[For the next passage that deals with cutting things off rather than missing out, click here]

this one really is a short one… so let me include it:

Save me, O God, by your name;
    vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
    listen to the words of my mouth.

Arrogant foes are attacking me;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    people without regard for God.

Surely God is my help;
    the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
    in your faithfulness destroy them.

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
    I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles,
    and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

this is a psalm David put together when he was on the run from Saul.

i really love the first line, ‘Save me, O God, by your name’  as names were really important in the Bible. the name expresses the heart and character of the person and so David here is appealing to the God who saves.

often the name we use for God displays how we view Him, which is perhaps why it can be good to use multiple names and titles – the idea of God as King for example conveys a completely different message than the idea of God as Father, and God as Saviour seems a lot more loving and reachable than Omnipotent God. it is important to realise that He is all of these things and so not to get trapped in one name or idea of God at the exclusion of all others. it is good to keep in mind just how much bigger than us God is so that when we don’t necessarily understand all that is going on, it makes sense that we shouldn’t, and that’s okay. it would be far more distressing if we could wrap our minds around a God who created the Universe in a sentence or breath.

which all brings me back to one of my favourite passages in Ephesians 3 which gives us a glimpse of the bigness of our God:

14′ For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’

or as David writes in this Psalm, ‘I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.’

[To return to the Intro page and be connected to any of the other Psalms i have walked through before now, click here]

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